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WCC Men's Basketball Weekly Notes

Jan. 27, 2009

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WCC BEGINS FOURTH WEEK OF CONFERENCE PLAY
WCC men's basketball teams close out the first half of conference play this week with several crucial matchups. The week begins on Thursday with one of the most highly anticipated conference games in the country as No. 20 Gonzaga hosts No. 18 Saint Mary's in a first place showdown on ESPN2. In other action, Portland welcomes San Diego to the Chiles Center with third place on the line, while San Francisco hosts Pepperdine and Santa Clara hosts Loyola Marymount.

Upcoming Schedule

All Times PST

THURSDAY, JANUARY 29
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
NETWORK/RECAP
Loyola Marymount at Santa Clara Santa Clara, CA 7:00 PM
Pepperdine at San Francisco San Francisco, CA 7:00 PM
San Diego at Portland Portland, OR 7:00 PM
#18 Saint Mary's at #20 Gonzaga Spokane, WA 8:00 PM
ESPN2
SATURDAY, JANUARY 31
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
NETWORK/RECAP
San Diego at Gonzaga Spokane, WA
3:00 PM
ESPN2
Saint Mary's at Portland Portland, OR
6:00 PM
CSNCA/NW
Loyola Marymount at San Francisco San Francisco, CA
7:00 PM
Pepperdine at Santa Clara Santa Clara, CA
7:00 PM

AROUND THE WCC





Austin Daye and the No. 20 ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs host No. 18 Saint Mary's in a first place showdown on ESPN2.


Gonzaga Hosts Saint Mary's In First Place Showdown
No. 20 Gonzaga hosts No. 18 Saint Mary's Thursday evening with first place on the line. The game will be televised on ESPN2 at 8:00 PM (PST). The game marks the first contest this season between two ranked conference opponents from a non-BCS conference. The Zags and the Gaels enter the game with unblemished 5-0 WCC records. Saint Mary's will put its national best 15-game winning streak on the line, while Gonzaga enters the game with a six-game winning streak, which is tied for the 18th longest in the country.

Two WCC Teams Ranked In The Top 25
The WCC remained the only non-BCS conference with two teams ranked in the top 25 as Saint Mary's jumped up to No. 18 in the latest ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll, while Gonzaga entered the coaches poll with a No. 25 listing. The Zags moved up to No. 20 in the latest Associated Press poll, while Saint Mary's entered the AP rankings for the first time this season, debuting at No. 22. The WCC is tied for the fourth most teams ranked in the top 25 and is one of six conferences with multiple teams in the latest coaches rankings. The Big East leads the way with eight teams in the latest ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll, followed by the ACC (4), the Big Ten (4), the WCC (2), the Big 12 (2), and the Pac-10 (2).

WCC Player of the Week: Santa Clara's John Bryant Earns Weekly Honor
Santa Clara senior center John Bryant averaged 19 points, 16.5 rebounds, and 3.5 blocks last week. Shooting over 76 percent, Bryant helped the Broncos come back from a six-game losing streak and pull out two straight wins over San Francisco and Houston Baptist. Against San Francisco, Bryant collected his 14th double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds. He then followed that game with a 20 point, 21 rebound performance against Houston Baptist. Bryant is now second in the nation in double-doubles with 15 this season.


WCC TEAM NOTES

SCHOOL TEAM NOTES

Overall Record: 14-4
WCC Record: 5-0
  • Gonzaga remained unbeaten in conference play with a road sweep of Pepperdine (83-69) and Loyola Marymount (93-60).

  • Gonzaga, which has won six straight, moved up to No. 20 in the latest AP poll and jumped back in the ESPN/USA Today poll, coming in at No. 25.

  • Sophomore Austin Daye notched double-doubles in both Gonzaga wins, tallying 16 points and 10 rebounds against Pepperdine, before tossing in 14 points and hauling down 10 boards versus LMU. Daye has been on a tear during the Zags' six-game winning streak, averaging 16.3 ppg, 9.0 rpg, and 2.2 bpg, while shooting 55.6 percent from the field (35-63).

  • Gonzaga owns a 58-3 record at the McCarthey Athletic Center.

  • Gonzaga hosts No. 18 Saint Mary's (1/29) before welcoming in San Diego (1/31).
  • Overall Record: 1-20
    WCC Record: 0-5
  • LMU dropped a 75-59 decision to Portland before falling to Gonzaga, 93-60.

  • Sophomore Vernon Teel played in his first games since breaking his foot against Notre Dame on Nov. 21. Teel scored 12 points against both the Pilots and the Bulldogs. Before suffering the injury, Teel was the Lions' leading scorer (15.2 ppg) and rebounder (7.5 rpg).

  • Freshman Kevin Young had a career-best 21 points to go with 12 rebounds for his third double-double of the season in the Lions' setback versus Gonzaga.

  • The Lions have faced a tremendous amount of adversity this season, with four key players suffering injuries and are down to eight scholarship players.

  • LMU travels to Bay Area schools Santa Clara (1/29) and San Francisco (1/31) this week.
  • Overall Record: 4-17
    WCC Record: 1-4
  • The Waves dropped an 83-69 decision to No. 23 Gonzaga on Thursday evening before falling to Portland, 73-58.

  • Freshman guard Keion Bell played one of his strongest games of the season, recording his first career double-double and posting team highs of 19 points, 12 rebounds and six assists against Gonzaga. Bell, who scored 12 points against Portland, leads Pepperdine and ranks third among all WCC freshmen with 11.4 ppg.

  • Of the 12 players that saw action for the Waves against the Pilots, nine were freshmen or sophomores and seven weren't on the roster last year. Pepperdine has been starting four freshmen and one sophomore, and has played five freshmen on the court at one time on an occasional basis.

  • The Waves play at San Francisco (1/29) and Santa Clara (1/31) this week.
  • Overall Record: 13-7
    WCC Record: 4-1
  • The Pilots improved to 13-7 overall and 4-1 in WCC play with a 75-59 win at Loyola Marymount and a 73-58 victory at Pepperdine.

  • The Pilots matched their best start ever in WCC play, joining the 1980 and 1998 teams. No Portland team has ever opened with a 5-1 conference mark.

  • Junior guard Nik Raivio recorded his first career double-double with 15 points and a career-high 15 rebounds in the Pilots' win over LMU. Raivio not only ranks fourth in the WCC in scoring with 16.0 ppg, but is also the top rebounding guard in the WCC with 6.7 rpg, the ninth best average in the conference.

  • Sophomore guard Jared Stohl leads the WCC with 59 three-pointers.

  • Portland hosts San Diego (1/29) and No. 18 Saint Mary's (1/31) this week.
  • Overall Record: 18-1
    WCC Record: 5-0
  • Saint Mary's extended the nation's best winning streak to 15 straight games with an impressive 65-42 win at San Diego.

  • Saint Mary's, off to the best start in school history, moved up to No. 18 in the latest ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll and debuted in the Associated Press poll at No. 22. The No. 18 ranking is the highest for any Saint Mary's men's basketball team in the coaches poll. Last season, the Gaels were ranked as high as No. 20 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll, the week of Feb. 18, 2008, and were ranked in the top-25 a total of eight weeks during the 2007-08 campaign.

  • Omar Samhan notched his eighth double-double of the season (16 pts, 11 rebs.) and the 16th of his career in the Gaels' win over San Diego.

  • The Gaels put their 15-game winning streak on the line when they head to No. 20 Gonzaga (1/29) in a first place showdown on ESPN2, before playing at Portland (1/31) this weekend.
  • Overall Record: 12-8
    WCC Record: 4-1
  • The Toreros dropped their first conference game of the season, falling to No. 22 Saint Mary's, 65-42, on Thursday evening.

  • The loss snapped San Diego's six-game winning streak. USD has still won eight of its last 10 games after opening the season with a 4-6 record. At 12-8, the Toreros are still off to a better start than last season's record-setting club. Last season, the Toreros posted a 9-11 mark through their first 20 games.

  • Junior De'Jon Jackson scored a season-high 15 points against Saint Mary's. Jackson, who has missed eight games this season with a knee injury, is a key player for the Toreros. Jackson has played in 12 games this season and the Toreros have posted a 9-3 mark with him in the lineup.

  • San Diego travels to the Northwest to play at Portland (1/29) and No. 20 Gonzaga (1/31).
  • Overall Record: 8-12
    WCC Record: 0-5
  • San Francisco dropped a 70-54 decision at long-time Bay Area rival Santa Clara on Friday evening.

  • Junior forward Dior Lowhorn matched Bill Russell as the fastest USF player to score 1,000 career points, in the Dons' game versus Portland on January 15. Lowhorn reached the 1,000 point milestone in his 49th career game in the Green and Gold. Russell tallied his 1,000th career point in the 1955 NCAA Tournament Semifinals against Colorado. Lowhorn now has 1,261 career points (230 points at Texas Tech). Lowhorn now leads the WCC and ranks 29th in the nation in scoring with 19.8 ppg.

  • Ten different Dons have earned starts this season, including freshmen Chris O'Brien (13 starts) Angelo Caloiaro (12 starts), Kwame Vaughn (8 starts), and Peter Smith (2 starts).

  • The Dons return to War Memorial Gym to host Pepperdine (1/29) and LMU (1/31).
  • Overall Record: 9-13
    WCC Record: 1-4
  • The Broncos earned their first conference win of the season, defeating Bay Area rival USF, 70-54, before cruising past Houston Baptist, 85-59.

  • Freshman James Rahon turned in a spectacular week, scoring a game-high 21 points against USF before tossing a game and career-high 25 points in the Broncos' win over Houston Baptist. Rahon, who also dished out 10 assists on the week without committing a single turnover, is a member of the Broncos' talented freshman corp that also includes guards Kevin Foster and Troy Alexander, and forward Marc Trasolini. The youth gives Santa Clara the 38th youngest team in the nation, according to statsheet.com.

  • John Bryant scored 20 points and grabbed 21 rebounds against Houston Baptist for his fourth 20+ rebound game of the season, the most by any player in the country.

  • Santa Clara hosts LMU (1/29) and Pepperdine (1/31) this week.